Valentine’s Day: How Do Humanists Show Their Love?

Photo by Laura Ockel on Unsplash

How do humanists like to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Depends who you ask. Read how some AHA staffers mark the holiday.

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that has a definitively conspicuous presence in grocery stores from the moment the new year begins to the coveted February 15 rush on candy, cards, and the like. Along with Christmas, it’s a holiday that encourages spending on gifts and extravagance for one’s partner. While some of us are fans of grandiose romantic gestures, AHA staff like to adapt the traditions of Valentine’s Day in a way that best suits them.

Emily Newman, Education Coordinator

Like every day, Valentine’s Day is a good time to show the people in our lives that we care about, love, and appreciate them. I will celebrate by sharing fun gifs, interesting links, and encouraging words with friends and family to bring humor and hope to people’s day. (I expect some messages will lead to longer chats and get-togethers.) There’s a lot of negativity and pain in the world, including inside many of us, that needs to be countered with empathy and compassion.

Colin McNamara, Staff Attorney

My partner and I both detest Valentine’s Day, so this year will likely be celebrated in the same fashion as the previous eight—on the couch with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, watching trash TV. Judge if you want, but I think we have a good thing going here.

Peter Bjork, Managing Editor & Web Content Manager

As I’ve gotten older and my relationship enters its eleventh year, the concept of Valentine’s Day has become increasingly meaningless. Early on in my relationship, my partner and I would try to mark the day with gifts and an elaborate home-cooked meal (even being young and in love, the idea of spending Valentine’s Day in a restaurant was always repulsive). Now, without the holiday aisle at Walgreens or writing exercises like this, I would likely forget the holiday even exists. My plans this year will likely involve buying the ugliest, gaudiest Valentine’s Day card I can find and watching the fourth episode of Star Trek: Picard.

Jennifer Bardi, Senior Editor & Deputy Director

I’m a traditionalist when it comes to Valentine’s Day. I love giving and receiving cards, especially handmade ones. That’s an aspect of the holiday I think gets lost in the criticism that it’s too commercialized or by those who feel the whole thing is forced. And as a lover of puns, what’s not to like about making up fun romantic wishes like, “I only have fries for you”? One year I helped my son with his class valentines and we wrote “I chews you” and taped a wrapped stick of gum inside. Anyway, I think it’s great to celebrate Valentine’s Day with cards, flowers, chocolate, jewelry–you name it. Giving someone a hug or a kiss (who’s down with it, of course), a tender word, or even just a compliment or a smile? Priceless.

Sam Gerard, Communications Associate

My favorite part of Valentine’s Day is when it’s no longer Valentine’s Day and you can sweep through the stores and snatch up all the discount chocolate—both the good candy and the conversation hearts. (With candy and me, there are no wrong answers!) This is also the first Valentine’s Day in four years that I have a partner—I’m planning to flaunt my cooking skills and make her a romantic dinner, after which we’ll watch Marvelous Mrs. Maisel!

How do you show your love on Valentine’s Day? We’d LOVE to hear!